Millennials get a bad rap. We’re accused of being lazy, gluttonous and down right socially inept. However, no one ever accused us of producing bad reality television.
The 2000s were the years reality television began to truly dominate the scene. Cultural sensations and trends arose from the barebones of each reality show’s framework.
During the span of less than five years, reality television brought us GTL, DTF, “That’s hot,” the case of New York v. Pumpkin and the tumultuous Stephen/LC/Kristen love triangle.
With each new show arose a new style. Most of the looks were, looking back now, atrocious. Some outfits on our beloved 2000s reality shows looked as if they were curated by pressing “randomize” while dressing our digital Sims. Others were confusing. May I call to the stand furry knee high boots in the summer?
No matter how odd, how unnecessary, these looks stay with us, as important cultural landmarks.
Below are the best looks from my favorite 2000s reality shows.
Angélique “Frenchy” Morgan from Rock of Love (2007-2009)
You bet I watched every celebrity dating show that aired on VH1 during my middle school years. Frenchie was an anomaly, a heavy accent, big lips and scandalous clothes were her signatures, but what I remember most were her boot cut jeans.
Tiffany “New York” Pollard from Flavor of Love (2006-2008) and I Love New York (2007-2008).
New York’s a reality empire. You might not like her, but you can’t deny her that simple fact.
Bracelet: Gold Bangle, Amazon, $18.
Sunglasses: Colored Lens No Show Frames, Giant Vintage, $22.
Name Plate: Customized Necklace, Get Name Necklace, $25.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi from Jersey Shore (2009-2012) and Snooki and Jwoww (2012-2015).
Jersey Shore was nothing new to me, as a high school student on Long Island, New York (an Italian capital) from 2009-2012. I was familiar with the entire casts’ styles and accents before the chaotic, but lovable, train wreck of a show premiered on MTV. Every girl wore their hair like Snooki’s and every guy was a DJ Pauly D in training.
Purse: Michael Kors, Macy’s, $128.
Sunglasses: Snooki Glasses, Amazon, $17.90.
AND, the piece that makes the outfit AND can also transform you into Mike The Situation in no time…
Neck Brace: Neck Brace, Walmart, $7.
Lauren Conrad from The Hills (2006-2010) and Laguna Beach (2004-2006).
Buzzfeed once told me that I’m a Lo Bosworth, not a Lauren Conrad, and although I agree with that 100%, LC defines the late 2000s teenager’s experience.
Paris Hilton from The Simple Life (2003-2007).
The Simple Life WAS the forbidden fruit of my childhood. Both alluring and provocative I was in no way allowed to even be caught flipping over the channel while this gem of a show was playing. Much to my pleasure, I had a cousin who’d watch the show and deliver me summaries of each episode.
Sunglasses: Colored Lenses Sunglasses, Giant Vintage, $22.
Kelly Osbourne from The Osbournes (2002-2005).
As a preteen, I thought I’d turn out to be a Lo from Laguna Beach, but I think most millennials, my ex-emo self included, turned out more like a moody Kelly Osbourne.
Hair Clip: Pink Floral Clip, Claire’s, $2.99.